After almost 10 years at the helm of the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), Stuart Johnston will be leaving the organization effective December 31.
“It’s with a sad heart that we at CIMA say goodbye to Stuart as the organization’s President. For almost a decade, he has been the backbone of CIMA, a strong presence in the Canadian Music Industry, and always remained committed to the staff and organization. We wish him the best on his new path, and hope he leaves knowing his legacy work will remain for us to build on into the future.” says Tim Potocic, Chair of the Board of Directors.
“Stuart has been instrumental in bringing millions of dollars’ worth of funding to the music industry and has tirelessly worked with the Board to build out new programs and evolve the ones that previously existed. He will be missed, ” says Lisa Logutenkow, Past Chair.
CIMA’s Board will immediately begin its search to replace Stuart. CIMA has hired the employment firm Searchlight Partners Group to lead this process.
“CIMA is an incredible organization, and I cannot begin to capture 10 years of memories and friendship into one succinct quote,” says Stuart Johnston. “I owe a deep thanks and gratitude to CIMA’s staff and its Board of Directors, both past and present, for all of their support to me and to their dedication to the membership and the industry at large. As I move on to my next gig, I know that CIMA is left in good hands, and will continue to be an influential voice for the music industry.”
During Stuart’s tenure, CIMA has seen the dramatic expansion of its Professional Development and Music Export Canada programs; the creation of MusicOntario and celebratory programs such as Road Gold and the annual Awards Gala; deeper investment in effective and influential research and studies; and a strengthened voice in the corridors of Government – nationally, provincially and internationally. CIMA will continue to build on these strengths, as it continues to strongly advocate for COVID-19 recovery strategies and support for the years beyond.
As a team leader, morale booster and the figurehead voice for advocacy of independent music businesses at the civic, provincial and federal level, as well as a well-recognized Maple Music executive on the international stage, his decision to move into another sector will be a collective loss for the industry. It is noteworthy that he joins outgoing FACTOR President Duncan McKie, and Music Canada CEO Graham Henderson–all of whom have left or are leaving the industry in 2020.